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From left to right: Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. From left to right: Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The path to a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship runs disproportionately through the chambers of certain circuit judges, many of whom sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and almost all of whom are white men.

Exclusive Report: SCOTUS Clerks This article is part of a series examining the professional pathways and diversity of Supreme Court law clerks. • A Look Inside the Elite World of Supreme Court Law Clerks

The interactive graphic below, drawn from the National Law Journal’s study of law clerks from 2005 to 2017, maps feeder judges who have had three or more former law clerks go on to work for a current justice.


➤➤ SCOTUS Clerks: Who Gets the Golden Ticket? Join reporter Tony Mauro and Hogan Lovells partner Neal Katyal on Thursday, Dec. 14 for a conference call about clerk hiring and diversity. Click here for more details.


We also used data from the past five years to identify the up-and-coming appeals court judges appointed by the most recent former presidents—George W. Bush and Barack Obama—who are sending the most clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Among our findings:

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Tony Mauro

Tony Mauro, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. A lead writer for ALM's Supreme Court Brief, Tony focuses on the court's history and traditions, appellate advocacy and the SCOTUS cases that matter most to business litigators. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter: @Tonymauro

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